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California's Failing Education System

Essay by   •  August 23, 2011  •  Case Study  •  6,068 Words (25 Pages)  •  2,045 Views

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Is California's education system failing us? This is a question that many

people are pondering these days. Regardless if the answer to this question is a yes or no there is no doubt that we need to unite and stand up for our schools.

Due to recent budget cuts in California all our schools, teachers, students,

classroom sizes, art programs and extracurricular activities have been

dramatically affected. To put it simply, funds are being misused because schools are not acquiring proper funding.

California's public schools have already been cut more that $11 billion. Pink slips have already been handed out to at least 27,000 teachers and education support professionals. California schools currently rank 47th in per-pupil spending. This is the dismal reality of the crisis that California's education system is in and we can not let it get worse. If this projected budget cut request holds true, we could lose up to a total of 350,000 public school teachers.

According to the website statistics show that the state of California has more students per teacher than that of the United States as a whole. Now they are trying to increase the class size by 55% more.


Parents of public school students need to have a clear understanding of how the schools systems are funded. If parents have the right knowledge, than they can become more effective advocates for properly funding the public schools. Many people were unaware of the depth of the crisis until the state basically went broke and we hit rock bottom.

The money received for California's public schools get most of their dollars from state rather than local funds (primarily property taxes). In most states, school districts have the authority to adjust local property tax rates to acquire the resources needed to support local schools. California can not do this because CA. Proposition 13 capped the local property tax rate at 1% and Proposition 1A of 2004 locked in the allocation of revenues among schools, cities, counties and special districts.

Each school district in California has been affected differently. The more abundant districts are able to survive on their local bonds and taxes, but the inner city districts (which are poorer) do not have that opportunity available to them. This is where drop out rates are the highest throughout our state and now due to cuts we are going to with hold these students the opportunity for a better education, access to a nurse or librarian or the proper academic and psychological

guidance through counseling.


The dropout rates and numbers below are already a tragedy and now we are at risk for them to double or even triple.

According to the Globe trotter article (Marin-Forum) (published July 18, 2008): "California's Failing Education System goes way beyond the School yard, the 24% statewide drop out rate is more than a statistic". Could these budget cuts not only increase our classroom size but help increase the number of students who fall through the cracks and eventually drop out?

Dropouts by Ethnicity, Grades 9 -12 State of California, 2007-2008

Ethnicity Enrollment Adjusted

Dropouts (1) Adjusted 1 year dropout

Rate (2) Adjusted 4 year dropout rate (3)


Indian 16,523 1,146 6.9% 25.4%

Asian 173,569 3,753 2.2% 8.4%


Islander 13,461 787 5.8% 22.2%

Filipino 56,470 1,364 2.4% 9.4%

Hispanic 913,059 59,915 6.6% 25.5%


American 162,099 15,529 9.6% 34.7%

White 633,304 20,394 3.2% 12.2%

Multiple / No Response 47,235 3,184 6.7% 25.3%

Total 2,015,720 106,073 5.3% 20.1%

1 -Total reported dropouts adjusted by removing reenrolled dropouts and adding lost transfers

2 - Adjusted dropouts divided by enrollment

3- Estimate of the percent of students who would drop out in a four year period based on data collected for a single year


Because of the debt that the state is in a Master Plan was put together to not only make sure we revise the use of our funds but to monitor and set specific guidelines for our legislators, even down to the Governor. The web site is a government site which

accesses the Master Plan for the education system in California. The plan clearly stated itself "California no longer has any racial or ethnic group that is a majority of the states population, yet schools serving large concentrations of low-income students, as well as those serving large numbers of black, Latino and Native



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